Scott Brown and The Dangers of Late-Night Tweeting

Scott Brown Twitter

Scott Brown TwitterScott Brown, the former Massachusetts senator whose recent loss to Elizabeth Warren left his political future uncertain, got some unwanted attention over the weekend after releasing a series of nonsensical late-night tweets that left many questioning his sobriety.

It’s both a silly story and a great illustration of how a series of poorly thought-out messages can lead to PR disaster–especially for public figures on social media.

The timeline is pretty simple:

Late Friday night, Brown responded to a few Twitter users’ politically inflammatory statements with a series of “whatever” posts that soon devolved into incoherence topped by the now-famous “Bqhatevwr” (which quickly became a meme among Twitter’s hyper-active journalism community).

Brown deleted the tweets, but screen grabs by savvy reporters ensured that the damage had been done. The big question: was he drunk, or had the Ambien just kicked in?

We don’t want to pile on the poor guy (plenty of others are doing that for us), but after a series of morning messages hyping his upcoming book signings and complaining about household chores, these snarky outbursts seemed like the kind of random, half-formed thoughts more appropriate for teens who don’t have Brown’s political clout–or his 57,000 followers.

Brown should be very concerned about his public image right now: Senior Massachusetts Senator John Kerry‘s nomination to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State leaves an opening for Brown to re-enter the political fray. Unfortunately, despite a Boston Globewill he or won’t he run again” cover story, the only thing people are speculating about today re: Scott Brown is exactly what he was thinking (or not thinking) when he clicked “send” and turned #Bqhatevwr into a viral hashtag.

Will this little incident affect Brown’s chances of reviving his political career? Probably not. But we hope he learned his lesson: no tweeting after midnight (or after more than two whiskey and sodas).